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Happy Birthday, 1951 Essay

930 words - 4 pages

Happy Birthday, 1951

1: Summary
Happy Birthday, 1951 is a tale about an elderly man and 7-year-old boy, who lives in the ruins of a war-torn city. Soldiers demand the two to fill out documents with information such as age and name. The elderly man does not know the boy’s age or birthdate. Therefore they decide to celebrate the boy’s birthday the next day, and the man decides to take the boy to a green and living place outside the devastated city. In addition, the man creates a cart for the boy, which the boy rather sees as a tank.

On their way to the place, the boy spots an old, rusty tank, which fascinates the boy. The man becomes more and more irritated by the boy’s admiration of ...view middle of the document...

” (p. 2 ll. 53-55). He plays with it, as if it was a tank, which is another indication of the boy’s fascination for war.

The boy does not evolve into something new in the story, but he stays the same with a huge admiration for war and destruction. If the boy had been born earlier, he would have experienced the war, and he would without any doubt have had a different view on war.

The old man is plausibly between 60 and 70 years old. Since he is refered to as ”an old man”, he is probably more than 60 years of age, and since it is possible for him to walk to the green, living area, it is plausible that he is not much older than 70 years. This means that the old man has lived during both the First and the Second World War. Therefore he has experienced the grudges and horrors of war.

He has lived his latest years in the aftermath of the war with little supplies, which could indicate that he is a clever surviver because infants and old people typically are the first to die in an environment such as a ruined city.
The green area is a a place, where the elder man has been before, and he longs to see it again. On their way to the green area, they see a church with a burned steeple, which symbolizes the peace and harmony the man feels the war destroyed.

3: Comment
The climax takes place in the end, where the elderly man’s attempt of showing the boy the world as it should be...

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